February 3, 2016

Irish Books For Youngsters

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Seachtain na Gaeilge is coming soon (1 – 17 March) and this year’s slogan is ‘Bain Triail Aisti’ which means ‘Surpise Yourself’.

To help you out this month, we are going to focus on some titles in Irish. Recently there has been an increase in the number of Irish language books available for younger readers – either originally published on Irish or in translation. With The Diary of a Wimpy Kid on its way ‘as gaelige’ and the likes of Asterix and Tintin recently hitting the shelves in Irish – there are no excuses for not getting out and enjoying our native language.

With Seacthain na Gaelige coming soon – we thought we would focus on a number of these titles and highlight some others that should be available in all good bookshops and libraries. All of these titles are great for native speakers, children leaning Irish and those wishing to improve their own.

First up – the 0-2’s we have chosen to focus on the Dáinín series from Futa1748_300_295_c1 Fata – Bog Chun Siúil is the fourth book in the series featuring the youngtiger Dainín, and it is as charming and well-written as the rest of the set: Cloisim Rud Éigin! Cá bhfuil Teidí? and Lá Álainn Dainín.

Also worth looking at for this age range are Tatyana Feeney’s titles from An Gúm including Eilifent Óg agus an Folcadán, which is Irish language translation of her latest title Small Elephant’s Bathtime. It is the forth in a series of titles by this author/ illustrator including, Coinín Beag agus Phluid Ghorm, Ulchabthán Óg agus an Scairf Oráiste and Frog Beag agus an Torbáin sin!

9781406341065In the 2-4-age range Walker Éireann brings us a range of Irish authors and illustrator’s translated into Irish – one of CBI’s favourites is Ar Strae Beagán, which is Chris Haughton debut picturebook A Bit Lost. This title alongside other Walker Éireann offerings Ulchabhán Óga by Martin Waddell and illustrated by Patrick Benson; Tomhais Méid Mo Ghrá Duit by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram; and the brilliantly titled Stiúcaí Stiúghta by Niamh Sharkey and translated by Gabriel Rosenstock, capture all the brilliance of their original editions. These are a must for any parents looking to read in Irish to their children.

In the 5-8 range there are lots of titles for emerging readers including Lisín: Ní Banphrionsa Mé! written by Patricia Forde. This is a hilarious and heart-warming tale of a little pirate girl who does not like the colour pink but must wear it for the school play. There is extensive vocabulary use throughout – which makes it useful at home and in the csaoire_na_samhna_beag_300_463_c1lassroom for developing Irish-language skills.

Also in this age range is Pop! from An tSnáthaid Mhór. This vibrantly coloured book is a fantastical adventure sure to please young readers. And last year, in a development that will excite most parents, The Famous Five arrived in Irish, An Cúigear Cróga. To date five of their adventures have been translated hopefully with more to follow.

Don’t forget to go online and checkout the website for Seactain na Gaeilge http://snag.ie/ – they have lots of resources for use at home and in schools. Bain Triail Aisti!

This article was written by Children’s Books Ireland. CBI is the national children’s books organisation of Ireland whose vision is an Ireland in which books are central to every child’s life. CBI is a very proud supporter on Seachtain na Gaeilge.

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